1. Department of Labor Admits to Misusing Funds for IRAP Proposal
On November 6, the Department of Labor admitted to mishandling $1.1 million to finance the development of the agency’s proposed rule that would authorize Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Program initiatives (IRAPs). The DOL has since taken steps to address the matter and fixed the spending error by utilizing funds from the Office of Apprenticeships program administration account. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), the Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, will now hold a hearing later this month to investigate if the DOL violated Congress’ Antideficiency Act while establishing the IRAP program.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA understands the need for the apprenticeship model to be expanded outside of the construction industry. We urge the DOL to publish its final rule, with the inclusion of the proposed exemption for the construction industry from IRAPs. This will help our contractors and our jointly run training centers to continue their great work with the comfort of knowing that the time-tested model remains intact.
2. NECA Participates in Congressional Briefing on Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
On October 31, NECA participated in a Congressional briefing with the Main Street Employers coalition on Capitol Hill with Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.). The briefing was designed to examine the economic impact of the NECA-supported Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
NECA’s Look Ahead: The briefing focused on the release of a study commissioned by the S-Corporation Association, entitled "Large S-Corporations and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: The economic footprint of the pass-through sector and the impact of the TCJA." The full study is available here.
3. Senate Passes Minibus Funding Bill
The Senate on October 31 passed H.R.3055, the Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2020, by a 84-9 vote.
NECA’s Look Ahead: With the passage of this minibus, the bills are cleared to conference with the House version. The Defense spending bill was held up over top line spending agreements and the border wall. Funding for the federal government is set to expire November 21, 2019.